Does CBD Cause Constipation? Find Out Here!
Posted on November 19th, 2020
Any person can experience constipation at any moment of their lives, and their symptoms are rather uncomfortable to all. It can affect your mood and distract you on top of making you feel, dare we say, ‘crappy.’ In short, it can ruin your day. Fortunately, there are many ways to ease and treat constipation symptoms. These range from over-the-counter drugs to all-natural remedies.
One natural option gaining much popularity recently when it comes to constipation is CBD. Here you will learn more about constipation, its symptoms, causes, how to address this condition, and the answer to the question ‘Does CBD cause constipation?’. You might also just find out if CBD can, contrary to what this article’s title states, actually help you with constipation.
What Is Constipation?
In the simplest terms, constipation is a condition where a person has infrequent or uncomfortable bowel movements. It affects millions of people throughout the United States. It is the most common gastrointestinal complaint for which millions of people go see the doctor every year.
A person has constipation when their bowel movements result in the passage of tiny amounts of dry, hard stool less than three times a week. This is a problem. Regular stool elimination consists of having bowel movements three times a day or three times a week, depending on the person.
What Are the Symptoms of Constipation?
Constipation may come in a variety of forms. The condition classifies as chronic if the sufferer experiences less than three bowel movements a week. The symptoms of constipation may include the following:
- Feeling bloated
- Painful bowel movements
- Lumpy or hard stool
- Difficulty passing stool
What Causes Constipation?
Slow or irregular bowel movements can have a variety of causes. Anybody struggling with them should, therefore, first evaluate their lifestyle and risk factors. Eating habits and diet may contribute to constipation. Examining those can help determine an appropriate course of treatment, and let you see if CBD could actually be helpful.
Here are the most common causes of constipation:
- Irregular or poor eating habits
- Lack of exercise
- Side effects of medication
- Lack of fiber in diet
- Lack of vitamins
It is first essential for you to understand the underlying cause of constipation. Once you do, treatment should not be too challenging.
Does CBD Cause Constipation?
To answer the question, ‘does CBD cause constipation?’, it is crucial to understand that constipation is an infrequent side effect of CBD oil. The exact causes why it is so are not clear yet. Still, there isn’t reliable evidence showing that CBD directly causes constipation. However, there is anecdotal evidence from some users reporting digestive problems after consuming some CBD products.
CBD products are not all equal since the industry remains largely unregulated as of the year 2020. Some CBD products contain additives that may cause digestive issues. Users report adverse side effects only after using the product for a while. To avoid experiencing such side effects, purchase your CBD from high-quality manufacturers.
CBD’s Carrier Oil Role In Constipation
Consumer experiences and early studies suggest that some forms of CBD that pass through the digestive tract, such as edibles and oil, may cause constipation. However, that’s probably due to additional ingredients and carrier oils used, not the CBD itself.
Manufacturers often add carrier oils to their mix of CBD to improve the absorption rate. The kind of carrier oil used includes various ingredients from lavender oil to MCT oil and hemp seed oil, etc. They may play a role in constipation due to their presence in most of the CBD products users report gave them constipation. For instance, lavender oil comes from lavender, which is a different plant from cannabis/hemp. The current theory is that there’s a specific interaction happening between these compounds that causes constipation. Still, research is ongoing to pinpoint the actual issue.
To reduce the risks of constipation when using CBD products, it is advisable to use a carrier oil that comes from hemp. Ideally, choose CBD products that use hemp seed oil as the carrier oil in their mix.
What Should You Do If You Have Constipation?
It is quite evident by now that CBD doesn’t cause constipation. In fact, users excessively using CBD often do report experiencing the actual opposite of that problem. Consuming high doses of CBD regularly could actually cause the user to experience diarrhea.
If you do suffer from chronic constipation when using CBD, you can try not taking it for one week every month. So, this means that you should use it for three weeks at a time, pause for one week, and then repeat the cycle.
What Can Help Prevent/Treat Constipation?
You can prevent or even treat constipation by making specific changes to your lifestyle, such as:
Water makes up most of the human body’s composition. So, it only makes sense to keep it properly hydrated if you want it to function properly. Water helps in boosting the metabolism of food and helps reduce the chances of digestive problems.
Taking plenty of water helps to rehydrate the body, which facilitates having proper bowel movements. It also helps prevent constipation to no small extent. Drinking less water or taking none at all makes your stool tight, thus harder to move through the gut.
Consuming Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products help keep constipation at bay. The reason why fiber is incredibly effective at relieving constipation is that the body cannot digest it. Thus, it will use it to ‘clean’ the intestines by moving the bowels.
A fiber-rich diet can relieve constipation and prevent you from it going forward. If you regularly suffer from constipation, adding fiber to your diet can greatly benefit your gut and help put an end to it.
Staying Physically Active
If your job requires sitting at one place for anywhere between 8 to 10 hours a day, you are at a greater risk of constipation. Staying inactive for a greater part of the day is one of the key contributors to the condition.
Thus, it is essential to stay physically active by working out regularly. That way, you can spur the bowels to work and help food move through the digestive system ad. Any form of exercise, such as running, jumping rope, working out at the gym, cycling, etc., will be useful. Yet, the key is that you exercise consistently, so don’t just do it once a month; stay active.
Not Holding Your Stool
It might sound silly, but holding your stool is actually a very serious issue. People often work to contain their stools when in the middle of an important engagement. After all, who would want to interrupt meetings, dates, or parties to take care of this bodily function if they can put it off for a while?
Whatever your reasons might be, avoid resisting the body’s urge to go to the bathroom. Doing that can lead to a hardened stool that’s much more difficult to pass. Always make sure to take your time to answer the call of nature.
Is CBD a Viable Solution for Constipation?
There aren’t many studies that directly link CBD to constipation. The available evidence suggests that CBD products can help with some of its causes. CBD may help reduce inflammation and regulate the endocannabinoid system’s activity.
If you relieve inflammation, it may be easier to maintain regular bowel movements. Also, remember that taking excessive doses of CBD regularly can cause diarrhea. While that’s definitively not a real solution, that fact is enough of a hint that CBD might help loosen the bowels. Simply put, CBD may not only help in relieving constipation, but it might even work as a preventative supplement.
How to Choose the Right CBD Products for Constipation
The demand for CBD products has only increased, and projections forecast it to continue at it for a while. Still, even with so many different products available in the market, it is challenging to find the right one.
When it comes to choosing CBD products for constipation, you need to consider the method of administration. Topical CBD products generally don’t do much to relieve digestive problems since their administration method is external.
CBD oil and CBD edibles, on the other hand, may help ease stomach pain. The products are ingested and work to reduce constipation from the inside. The active ingredients enter the bloodstream, potentially helping to soothe the digestive tract.
The most important thing to remember when buying CBD products for constipation is that you should only buy from high-quality manufacturers. While many sellers claim to be selling all-natural CBD, it is better to check the ingredients beforehand.
Each CBD batch must undergo several tests to make sure that the products are safe to use. The best CBD manufacturers often display the test results of the products on their website. When thinking of buying from one, search their site until you find official certifications. If you can’t find one, better look elsewhere.
Does CBD Cause Constipation? – The Takeaway
So, does CBD cause constipation?
No, it does not. Constipation is rarely an isolated condition and is almost always a symptom of a different, underlying health issue. For this reason, the first step for those suffering from constipation should always be to examine their eating habits and diet.
For those searching for a natural way to help relieve constipation, CBD products may be useful. If used correctly, CBD may even help ease the anxiety associated with constipation without any significant side effects,
CBD products from reputable sellers such as Tanasi could also help deal with constipation’s emotional stress. If you are prone to constipation, you may consider adding it to your routine to avoid the possibility of irregular bowel movements.
CBD might help you with a lot of things. But does CBD cause constipation if you take too much of it? Not necessarily. Here's what you should know.
Constipation and CBD
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Cannabidiol (CBD) relieves a wide range of symptoms. You may know it helps with pain and sleep problems, but what about constipation? Discover how CBD works with your natural systems to reduce this common symptom.
Constipation: An Overview
When you experience constipation, you have three or fewer bowel movements a week. Most cases of constipation last for a short time, but the symptoms can feel unpleasant. However, some people have chronic constipation, which has a negative impact on your bowel movements for a long time.
You can have one of three types of constipation:
- Atonic: Atonic constipation involves a lack of muscle tone in your intestines.
- Obstructive: In obstructive constipation, a physical obstruction blocks your bowels.
- Spastic: Irritation and inflammation in your intestines cause spastic
The type of constipation you have changes the approaches you can take to relieve your symptoms. For example, while healthy habits help patients with atonic constipation, obstructive constipation needs medical attention.
As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, CBD can address the causes and symptoms of constipation. It helps your natural functions work the way they should.
The Endocannabinoid System’s Link to the Digestive System
We all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that makes and uses cannabinoids, the substances found in marijuana. Our ECS also creates its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. The ECS includes two types of receptors that bind to cannabinoids, CB1 and CB2. You can find CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body, including in the gut.
The ECS regulates the gut/brain connection through CB1 receptors. Our brain and gut communicate to each other through the vagus nerve to control our digestive functions. You can find CB1 receptors on the vagus nerve that influence these communications with cannabinoids. They process and release cannabinoids to manage the way our brain and gut send messages to each other.
CBD for Constipation Relief
CBD can relieve certain forms of constipation by addressing the causes. Its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory abilities have an indirect role to play in helping constipation patients.
If you experience constipation as a side effect of painkillers, you could lower your dose or replace it using CBD. CBD controls the pain response by increasing your anandamide levels. Anandamide, one of the endocannabinoids created by our bodies, moderates pain in damaged tissue. A fatty acid called FAAH breaks anandamide down, but CBD blocks FAAH. Taking CBD prevents the breakdown of anandamide, allowing it to manage pain sensations.
Anandamide also reduces inflammation in irritated tissue. This benefit helps patients with spastic constipation have reduced symptoms. When you have spastic constipation as a symptom of IBS, CBD also works with the body to relieve the condition’s other symptoms.
We recommend getting a doctor’s help before using CBD if you don’t know the cause of your constipation. If you have atonic or obstructive constipation, CBD may exacerbate your symptoms. However, it could also help you if you experience phases of constipation and diarrhea. You can use CBD to decrease your bowel motility and symptoms related to diarrhea when you have an episode.
Finding the Right CBD Product for Your Constipation
CBD medicine comes in many forms. The availability in your area depends on local and state laws. Even if you don’t plan to use medication with THC, a medical marijuana program gives you access to medicine-grade CBD items. When you can’t get access to a dispensary, you can also get relief from over-the-counter CBD products. We recommend checking the product label to ensure it has enough CBD to provide benefits.
The right type of CBD product for your constipation will match the underlying causes. If you get constipation from painkillers, you want a medicine that reaches the affected area. Topical treatments will help muscle pain, while patches, edibles and pills circulate to pain sources inside your body. Medication you ingest travels to your intestine to relieve inflammation caused by IBS and other conditions.
You may also want to look into medicine that contains small amounts of THC to boost CBD’s effects. It works together with CBD to provide stronger pain and inflammation relief. Since CBD reduces the impact of THC on the brain, you can feel less of a “high” from the THC.
A doctor trained in cannabis medicine can help you find a solution that manages your symptoms. CBD has varying effects depending on the case of constipation. So, getting medical advice first will ensure you have an effective treatment.
Where to Learn More About Medical Marijuana
To discover more about using cannabis medicine, find more information about underlying and related conditions in our ailment resources.
Learn More About Constipation
Learn more about Constipation and what makes medical marijuana an effective treatment for Constipation’s symptoms.
If you are suffering from Constipation, learn more about your marijuana-related treatment options. Find out how CBD can be used to treat the symptoms of Constipation.